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Do take a decent French map. You can pick one up from the UK Tunnel terminal, or the garage on the French side as you exit the tunnel terminal. I recommend the Michelin one.
I include only the motorway directions (which do cost about 55 each way). It is possible to do it in 10 hours from Calais to Tignes, but that includes only brief stops for fuel, and grabbing food to eat in the car.
You are looking to head for the road to Arras and Reims, the A26 on the blue motorway signs. If you go in the petrol station on the French terminal side, you’ll have to fight your way through the slightly more complicated roundabout system, as you cannot get back onto the same road you came off of! I have done this journey many times and still end up in Dunkerque by mistake. If all else fails, follow signs for Dunkerque, AVOID BOULOGNE, that is the WRONG way!
Keep an eye out for the blue signs for the A26 towards Arras and Reims.
Once on the motorway, it is fairly simple until Lyons. At the Peage (toll), take a ticket, and keep going until the next peage when they will want your ticket and ask you to cough up for the section you have just been on. They take cash, Visa and Amex, and do not need you to sign for it. You can tell the free bits of the motorway, as the traffic is much heavier!
From Reims, head for Chalons, still on the same motorway, but now being called the A4. Watch out for the turn to the A26 again, to Challon. Stay on this to Troyes. After Troyes, look for the sign to A5 to Dijon, which mysteriously becomes the A31 to Dijon further south! Follow this past Challon sur Saone, by which time it has become the A6 towards Lyon. Just past Villefrance, take the A46 ( a sort of M 25 around Lyon, look out for the A 43 towards Chambery. From Chambery, follow the A 43 and then the A 430 towards Albertville, where the motorway finishes and the signs disappear for a couple of minutes! DON’T PANIC! Keep going straight on and watch for signs to Moutiers on the N 90. At Moutiers, follow the signs for Bourg St Maurice. Make sure you get in the correct lane as soon as you see the signs, as you will need to head up the valley on the left.
Bourg St Maurice is a good place to stock up on cheap groceries, before heading up the mountain for 20 mins. There are supermarkets in Tignes, but these are small and pricey.
There are Intermarche and Super U at the far end of Bourg, just keep on straight until you see them to the right of you ( Cheap petrol here too)! Snow chains in the super markets if you need them from Dec to March. (If in doubt, call the Tignes tourist office on 04 79 40 04 40 and ask if the road is clear of snow).
Then follow signs for Tignes and Val D’Isere on the 902. A small winding road, you will no doubt be overtaken by mad locals; my advice is to let them past and take it nice and easy!! When you can see the Tignes dam, you will need to watch for the sign to Tignes on your right, and drive straight over the dam. Immediately you are over the dam, the local tourist industry, will try and wave you into the slip road on your right. Just ignore them and look confident and drive straight on. This bit is for people who know not where they are going to stay.
Up the valley into Tignes le Lac centre. Two tunnels, take the one on the left to Val Claret. Watch out for the roundabout after the tunnel, it’s easy to prang the car here on the ice!!
Straight on, under the avalanche protector, past the lake on the left and up to the roundabout. Take the first exit and pull in immediately on the right, there is an open air carpark, which is free for the first hour.